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article imageRon Perlman rules The Scorpion King 3: The Battle For Redemption Special

By Earl Dittman     Jan 11, 2012 in Entertainment
From the head of the motorcycle club in the Sons Of Anarchy to the king of Egypt in The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption. Ron Perlman knows how to command power. However, Perlman is not a bad dude, he's actually a nice, charming chap in real life.
While on hiatus from the motorcycle gang TV drama, Sons Of Anarchy, veteran actor Perlman spends his time making motion pictures. From his two stints in director Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy films, his costarring role with Ryan Gosling in Drive and a gig in the remake of Conan The Barbarian, he's been a busy guy lately. Most recently, Perlman landed a role as an Egyptian ruler in the third installment of The Scorpion King franchise -- a spin-off of The Mummy movies.
"The Egyptian kings dressed pretty hip for their day," the 51-year-old, native New Yorker jokes. "Although they aren't the most comfortable outfits in the world. You'd think they would have had better tailors." In the Roel Reiné-directed The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, Ron Perlman portrays Horus, the powerful King of Egypt, Billy Zane is the villainous Talus and Victor Webster plays Mathayus -- a once-powerful warrior king who takes on a new life as an assassin for hire.
Ron Perlman in  Sons Of Anarchy
Ron Perlman in 'Sons Of Anarchy'
Fox
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption brings the heroic, larger-than-life saga of the dethroned king Mathayus to face some of his fiercest demons and most vicious rivals -- both real and supernatural -- ever. In a dangerous, action-packed battle to regain his glory and reclaim the empire, Mathayus’s journey is steeped in intrigue, sorcery and romance, fueling this new film spawned from the billion-dollar The Mummy film franchise. The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption tops the series once again, featuring even more of the heart-stopping action, mind-bending stunts and astonishing plot twists that have earned the series millions of fans the world over.
Recently, Ron Perlman sat down to chat about how he approached portraying an Egyptian king compared to the other characters he's played, what it is like playing a masked actor in films such as Hellboy, recalls many of the roles he's played in his distinguished career, reveals how some of his favorite actors are from the black & white era or Hollywood, explains why he wanted to hop on a Harley for Sons of Anarchy, how he feels about his SOA character Clay and explains why he feels this is the best part of his life.
Ron Perlman in  The Scorpion King 3
Ron Perlman in 'The Scorpion King 3'
Universal
What is it like creating a character and his life? Do you have the same process for all the characters you do, even if he is the King of Egypt?
"It depends. I mean, every job is different. Every job has a different set of givens and a different set of circumstantial things that build up to all of the decisions about how the guy walks and how the guy talks and what he sounds like when he speaks, what sign he is. I try to create as full a character as possible. It's secret and it's only something that I know, but the more specific I can get the more specific I think that the behavior of the character will become. When you're putting on a mask you really have to kind of wait to see what the guy who designed the character has done physically before you can begin to make those decisions because what he looks like is going to definitely inform all of those things that I mentioned. In the case of Horus it was clear that his was just a badass. I just dug and dug and dug and then dug down some more and found my bottom voice and my most swaggering of walks and viola. There he was."
How do you feel about being a part of a franchise like The Scorpion King, which is a spin-off of Brendan Fraser's The Mummy movie series. Did you hesitate about taking on the role?
"Not at all. If it is well-written and it's an exciting, challenging part to do, then I don't care how many numbers come after it. Now, if they are just sticking a number on a piece of crap script to make money off a trademark, I stay away. But The Scorpion King 3 was a film I wanted to be a part of."
Ron Perlman with Director del Toro in  Hellboy
Ron Perlman with Director del Toro in 'Hellboy'
Sony
You've had such a distinguished career as a mask actor with roles like Hellboy. Is that something that you love and are you a big fan of science fiction because of it?
"Yes and no are the answers. No. Great questions, by the way. Thank you very much. The first one was about mask acting. When I first started out in this business I was really, really quite uncomfortable in my own skin and luckily the good Lord provided these roles almost in chronological order. First it was Quest for Fire which was mask acting. Then it was The Name of the Rose which was mask acting. Then Beauty and the Beast. They all happened during a period in my life where I was more comfortable behind the mask than I would've been naked, like this. It's freed me up. It made me freer because it was no longer me. It was a transformed version of me which was very abstract in relation to my own persona. So it made acting more possible and more freeing. These days I'm in my late '50's and I'm quite comfortable in my own skin and I no longer need the mask as much as I used to. So, now, it becomes about how much pleasure I'm going to take in taking a masked character. When the character is something like Hellboy, the answer is, 'Man, I'm sure there are a whole lot of other guys who wish they were me.' Then it is a real honor to do a role like Horus in Scorpion King 3, because I'm getting to play this character because the heart of this character is truly mythic. It's truly legendary and epic in scope. He's a phenomenal character to spend time with. With regards to science fiction, I've done a tremendous amount of work in science fiction. It's all coincidental. I've never been in the situation financially to ever say no to work and since that was the work that came to me mostly that was the work that I took. My own personal tastes? I watch the Turner Classic Movie Channel. My thing is old black and white movies. I'm a freak for John Ford and George Stevens and Raoul Walsh and Cary Grant and Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper and Billy Wilder. When it's my time that's what I find myself doing. I'm obsessed with the old studio days and the beginnings of cinema, especially in the United States, but clearly around the world as well. I like Kurosawa and Truffaut. I'm leaving out so many of my heroes, but those are my personal favorites. "
Recently, you said that you are in a great place -- both with your life and your career. Did you say and mean that?
"I'm sure I did. I'm feeling so carefree that I don't remember ever worry about anything. My life is just ducky right now. The things that have happened to me have gone so far beyond anything I might've dreamt or imagined that I stopped dreaming and imagining. I just basically wake up everyday and take what the good Lord gives me because it's pretty trippy. I feel like I've never been invited to the party, to the mainstream party and has sort of backed my way in with the good graces of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) who's been fighting for me for eight years. So it's all phenomenal."
Can you explains why fans often compare you to Lon Chaney?
"It's obvious why. So much of my stuff, also purely coincidentally, has been transformational like Lon Chaney's career. I mean, he was a giant. He was a true, true cinema giant. He was a true giant in this profession. I don't like comparisons like that because I consider myself just kind of like a working stiff who's happened to have a lot of really great opportunities. This seemed to be something that was an obsession with Lon Chaney. For me, I just take every job as it comes and if it happens to require transforming myself into a rather grotesque or obscure or abstract creation then so be it, but I would never compare myself to a giant like Lon Chaney. I see the comparisons, though."
Ron Perlman in  Sons Of Anarchy
Ron Perlman in "Sons Of Anarchy"
Fox
Sons Of Anarchy is such an incredible series, did you always know it was going to be such a great series from the moment you read the script?
"Oh yeah, the moment I read it I knew it was going to be great, and I knew Clay was going to be a great character."
The physicality of the Clay is very visceral, as it is with Charlie (Charlie Hunnam). Could you talk about the physicality?
"Yeah. Though this guy is a compendium of a lot of experiences that I can only imagine -- you know, he's a Vietnam vet, and you know, all the things that led up to his desire to go and fight -- are things that I can only kind of relate to intellectually. But Kurt provides me with a lot of opportunities to visit my sordid little imagination, you know, and hopefully the gap between what I don't know about him and what I need to know about him is the fun of playing him. It's like getting the rubber to meet the road. I feel as though there are varying degrees of success, but certainly the challenge is the ongoing and welcome."
Once you mastered the art of motorcycle riding, did that give you any deeper insight into Clay? Or it's just sort of a thing you have to do for the part?
"Well, the interesting thing about Clay is that we're dealing with a character whose riding days are probably coming closer to an end than a beginning. He's got these problems with his hands. He's got this oncoming profound arthritis which will disable him from being able to ride, which is one of the story points that we kind of revisit every once in a while. So that helps me, you know, in my disposition about my relationship with the bike, but the show is really so heavy on the presidency and all of the things that that entails that, you know, the riding of the bike, thankfully, is just, you know, sort of an accessory to a very complex network of who the guy is."
Ron Perlman in  Drive
Ron Perlman in 'Drive'
Sony
So, would you rather be a king of Egypt like Horus or the head of a motorcycle club like Clay?
"That's a tough one. Both guys have the pick of the women they desire, but I would have to say that Horus has a lot more gold and unknown powers. I'd like to be a little of both. Does that count?"
Is there a reason you feel so Ducky these days and so carefree?
"My family is doing really good. Everyone is firing on all cylinders. We're a family of all artists. My son got into the college of choice and he wants to have a career in music. My daughter has made her own album and she's was Hellboy and wants to be an actress and she's firing on all cylinders. My wife is a fashion designer and she does amazingly remarkable stuff. (director) Guillermo del Toro pointed out to me that I'm the least talented member of the Perlman family. He's absolutely right. I'm far and away the least talented, but things are going really, really well. I've got Sons Of Anarchy on FX where the writing is absolutely superb and the character is unlike anything I've ever attempted before. Work is coming and all the things that I ever dreamt about are really beginning to happen. So when your dreams come true how does it get any better than that."
Untitled
Universal
Did you have a favorite toy or game while growing up?
"Softball."
Any position?
"I was a first baseman because I couldn't throw."
The Scorpion King 3: The Battle For Redemption - Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes Montage; "Swords and Scorpions: A Making Of"; "Preparing For Battle"; Feature Commentary with Director Roel Reiné and Extended/Deleted Scenes. BLU-RAY COMBO PACK: BD-LIVE!; pocket BLU™ app: with Advanced Remote Control, Video Timeline, Mobile-To -Go, Browse Titles, Keyboard and Digital Copy.
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